Some people get the choice, more often than not the decision is taken out of a mother’s hands, whether she will have a Cesarean Section or a Vaginal Delivery.
I have experienced both, they equally came with their discomforts but both ended with the most amazing feeling of love I’d ever felt.
My first delivery, with my son Jack, was a Vaginal Delivery, sounds straight forward…it wasn’t! Firstly part of my waters had gone at 25+5 weeks of Pregnancy, so every day he stayed in was a blessing, then at 29+5 the rest of my waters went with a mighty pop. I was kept on delivery ward, even though I was only 2cm dilated, they thought he could come quickly…boy, were they wrong! After 22 hours of painful labour and only Gas & Air to get me through, I’d given in, the anaesthetist was preparing the needle ready for an Epidural, then suddenly I needed to push. At last! But no, still wasn’t that easy, even though he was tiny he didn’t have the force behind him to come out, so I was given an Episiotomy. Having a midwife with an attitude didn’t help either! Then at 04:32am on Monday 11th November 2013 Jack Sydney Woodhouse came into the world weighing just 3lbs half an oz!
After such an early delivery with my first son, the hospital were on red alert when I was pregnant with my second. At my 20 week scan he was breach due to my Bicornuate Uterus (Heart Shaped), he had his legs around the septum, but at that stage he still had plenty of time to move. I had scans every two weeks, then at 34 weeks he was still breach and wasn’t growing at the rapid rate babies are supposed to in those final weeks. They booked me in for a Cesarean Section the following week. Scared was an understatement! All the confidence I’d built up by going that bit further in my pregnancy just disappeared, walking down to the theatre it was a blur, needles, wires and people in blue everywhere! Luckily the theatre staff were all lovely (bar the midwife)! It was the strangest feeling, the needle in my back hurt slightly but only for a second, then for the first time in my pregnancy I felt pure comfort. For some reason I’d prepared my self for not feeling anything, WRONG! I could feel everything! No pain, but them cutting through and (not gently) pulling him out, not a nice feeling. Then at 11:57am on Wednesday 1st October 2014 Michael David Woodhouse came into the world weighing 4lb 12oz!
So when I compare the two, yea there were a lot of OMG get this over with moments, but they could have been a lot worse! And really no matter what, all that really mattered was that my boys were born safely and healthily (Jack spent 6 weeks in NICU, but that’s a whole other story). The recovery after my vaginal birth was very sore but not for long and it was mostly because of my stitches, but boy oh boy after my Cesarean the recovery was a lot longer and more painful/uncomfortable, probably more so because I have a toddler as well, but day 3 trying to sleep in my own bed and my milk coming in waking up at 4am (not because of my newborn) because the pain in my scar was dreadful and feeling like I had two boulders on my chest was not nice, the only resolve for both at the same time was a bath a really hot deep bath. Yep pain killers are also your best friend but their side affect…Constipation, which is not your friend after a Ceserean.
To all the mothers to be who have read my birth story and are now scared stiff, please don’t be, yep the anticipation is frightening, you can never predict the future, but those first few weeks go by in a blur and before you know it you’re getting back to being yourself and having your gorgeous newborn to cradle softens the blow and you’ll find yourself on the other side having done it and giving other expecting mothers advice.
I think of it like, this a new life, a whole person you’re adding to the Earth, it wouldn’t be right if it was easy. The emotionally draining experience you go through is because you love your baby, unconditionally and the experience you go through to get them is the first part of why you love them ❤